Gague and Harry Potter Help

I am very new to knitting, and have found this site and forum very helpful! My first project is a Harry Potter PoA scarf using the pattern from knit.atypically.net, Encore yarn and US8 circular needles. I did a gague test and ended up with 4 rows to an inch, and 4 stitches to an inch; instead of the recommended 6 and 5. As a result when stitched in the round the width of the piece (once folded in half) is 12 inches, instead of the 9 it is suppose to be. What am I doing wrong?! Is my tension too loose? How can I fix this? Smaller needles?
Also, for anyone who has made this scarf before…is the total circumference of the scarf suppose to be 18 inches (a width of 9 inches on each side) or should it be smaller than that? Looking at the photos it doesn’t seem the the scarf should be 9 inches wide, but I feel like I should trust the pattern.
Any help or advice would be wonderful!

It is not uncommon to need to switch needles in order to achieve the proper gauge. Because this is a scarf, it is not as crucial as if it was a sweater or something else that needed to be a particular fit. But if you want it to be as close to the pattern as possible, try a swatch with a needle size smaller and if that is still not tight enough try two sizes smaller.

And as for the width of the scarf, once you achieve the proper gauge just trust the pattern, as you say! It will all come out in the end, and sometimes it’s hard to judge by what photos look like.

yeah smaller needles will likely do it for you but one of the things i would question for myself is can i live with 12 inches? Because it is a scarf it isn’t THAT important but i don’t think i would want a scarf that is a foot wide. Basically what I am saying is that i wouldn’t fret a LOT about it, but i would try the smaller needles to get it a little skinnier. (did any of that make sense? :rofling: )

thank you both for your speedy replys! :wink: What you said made perfect sense. I’ve tried with US7’s and am still too loose, so I will try again tomorrow to find some US6’s and see if that works.

I have made two PoA scarves and have never had a problem with the width. I don’t think I even checked my gauge. embarrassed I used Paton’s Decor for one (Slytherin) and TLC Essentials (Gryffindor) for the other, both on a size 7 circ. I kind of wish I had used an 8 for the Essentials one because it was sort of stiff, but what can you do? I believe I cast on 90 stitches for the first and 80 for the second. I liked the width (about 8") of my Slytherin scarf, but the Gryffindor was for a friend and I didn’t want her to choke on the width. =)

I’m actually about to start my third one right now with Encore (Hufflepuff), so maybe I’ll be more help soon. And, I’ll actually test my gauge first since you seem to be having troubles with this brand.

Remember, the HP PoA scarf is a very wide, very long scarf (they’re certainly taller than me) so 8 inches wide sounds exactly right.

Good luck!

update:
I got 4.5 st/inch and 6 rows/inch with a size 8, so maybe you’re just knitting very tightly. I wouldn’t worry so much about the row gauge, though, since you can just knit more rows to match the length of the colour panels.

Again, thank you all for your help! I’ve hit a small snag in my experimentation to achieve the correct gague, in that I don’t have any US6 needles at home and haven’t had time to go out and buy a pair. I will keep you all posted about my endvors.